Nine smart things to do while job hunting

If you’re looking for work, it pays to use your time wisely. Here’s how

By Sophie Cole

Question: what’s the smart thing to do while searching for work?

Answer: use the time constructively to look after yourself and improve your employability.

    Establish a routine so you have a reason to get out of bed and on with your day.  

That’s the view of the experts at Just Recruitment, who have an enviable track record of placing candidates in jobs that are just right for their skills. We asked for the advice they’d give to people who are between jobs. This is what they had to say.

1. Stay motivated

“It’s easy when job hunting to find yourself slipping into a feeling of laziness or indifference to the world,” says Abigail Webb (Business Manager) from Just Recruitment’s Witham branch. “Take pride in your appearance. Establish a routine so you have a reason to get out of bed and on with your day. Use the space in your schedule to attend to stuff that’s easily put to one side when you’re busy with work.

“Those niggling health complaints you’ve been ignoring? Get to a doctor and have them checked out. That long overdue spring clean of your house? Get it done and you’ll feel a whole lot better about everything.”

2. Get moving

“Use your spare time to enjoy some physical activity,” advises Kelly Lewis (Recruitment Consultant) from Just Recruitment’s Sudbury office. “Working up a sweat will release endorphins in your body, making you feel positive and upbeat. That’ll come over when you apply for jobs, giving you a particular edge in interviews.

“If money’s tight because you’re not earning, there are loads of free resources online, including YouTube videos on everything from Yoga, Pilates and Zumba to Kickboxing, Martial Arts and Dance. So get downloading and get dancing: you’ll reap the rewards.”

3. Think about what you want from life

“Now’s the moment to stand back and really think about where you’d like your career to go,” says Victoria Griffiths (Business Manager) from the Haverhill branch. “This is particularly important if you’ve been dismissed from a role, as identifying where things went wrong will aid your learning for the future.

    “Now’s the moment to stand back and really think about where you’d like your career to go,”...  

“Whatever the circumstances that led to you being on the job market, you’ve got some welcome space to stand back, take stock, and work out what you want to happen next. With a clearer vision to drive you, you’ll have bags more energy and a much sharper focus.” 

4. Pick up some new self-care habits

“Looking after yourself is important, but self-care can easily slip when you’re busy searching for work,” says Airida Lazdauskiene (Recruitment Consultant) from Just’s Ipswich office. “Make time every day just to be. Maybe try some meditation techniques or stress management. Work on improving your sleep pattern or develop your time-management skills.

“The important thing is to establish self-care habits that will endure, even when you’re back in employment. That will help prevent burnout, making you a healthier, happier person.

5. Improve your career prospects

“One reason people struggle to find work is that their qualifications aren’t right for the vacancies available,” says Jody Collings (Senior Recruitment Consultant) from Just's Witham office. “But this challenge is easily overcome: there are loads of free or low-cost courses that can enhance your skill set.

“Many of these courses can be easily completed through a few weeks of self-supported study. So you can tackle them in bite-size chunks, helping to keep you motivated and giving your CV a welcome boost in the process.”

6. Don’t be too proud to ask for help

“If you’re struggling financially while looking for work, you shouldn’t be embarrassed about asking for the support you’re entitled to,” says Abigail Webb, from the Witham branch. “There are lots of state benefits available, especially if you’ve paid National Insurance contributions for more than two years. These include Universal Credit, Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA), and Housing Benefit.

    There are whole communities online dedicated to saving you money,...  

“There’s a load of helpful information and guidance on the website, or you can visit a Job Centre to find out exactly what you’re entitled to.”

7. Embrace your inner miser

Cassie Willis (Senior Recruitment Consultant) from Just’s Sudbury office says that some of her most dynamic candidates use their business acumen to save themselves money while job hunting.

“If you know where to look, there are loads of ways to reduce your spending,” she says. “That can relieve some of the financial pressure of unemployment. There are whole communities online dedicated to saving you money, including VoucherCodes, Topcashback, Quidco and”

8. Overhaul your online profile

“If you’ve time on your hands, it makes a lot of sense to bring your social media profile up to date, and delete any embarrassing or awkward posts,” says Bridie James (Business Manager) from Just Recruitment in Sudbury.

“Make sure your online presence shows you in the best possible light. Lots of recruiters will check you out before deciding whether or not to interview you. Give yourself a digital spruce up. You may find your job prospects receive a welcome shot in the arm.”

9. Be tempted by temping

Just Recruitment’s Amy Coe (Recruitment Consultant), who works in the Haverhill Office, says that searching for permanent work may not be the smartest move for some job hunters.

“There are so many interesting temporary roles available that I advise some of my clients to consider these first,” she says. “For some people, temping provides a way of testing out a number of different jobs before settling on a favourite. For others, it’s a way of building their CV and making contacts with potential employers. Whatever your motivation, it’s a great way to earn while you’re applying for permanent posts.”

You can check out Just Recruitment’s selection of temporary and permanent, full- and part-time jobs here. Happy hunting!

Published: 17 April 2019

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

If you found this piece helpful, you may like to read: How to beat the post-grad blues

You may also enjoy: The Just Recruitment guide to interview dressing

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